Friday, October 26, 2007

Album Reviews - 26/10/07

Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew - Spirit If…

The first of a series to be recorded by members from the band, it’s only fitting that the co-founder and lead vocalist of the band, Kevin Drew, be the first to deliver his works and he has done so in fine fashion, with “Spirit If…”.

Although various members of the band gave the Canadian maestro a hand with the instrumentation, the music itself was written by Drew and has been for some years until he was persuaded to record it.

Musically, the album is a little bare in comparisons with BSS material, but as this is a different project many were expecting this. The lyrics rank among some of Drew’s best work to date, with the melodic force of ’Tbtf’, the elegance of ’Safety Bricks’ and the heart felt ’Gang Bang Suicide’ leading the race for the album’s finest moments. ’Back Out On The’ caps off a brilliant rock ditty, with J.Mascis from Dinosaur Jr cranking out one of his trademark riffs, as the track flows like any good single should.

A good concept by The Broken Social Scene and with Brendan Canning the next in-line, many will look forward to what he has to offer. For now, though, Kevin Drew has come up trumps and if the material he has produced with the BSS wasn’t convincing enough, the sounds of “Spirit If” certainly will be.


Interpol - Our Love To Admire

New York’s finest dressed quartet shook the second album monkey off their back, producing the solid “Antics” back in 2004. There’s always something though, isn’t there? Third time around, their success led them to signing for a major label. Can you hear alarm bells ringing?

Okay, so “Our Love To Admire” certainly doesn’t lack the sound to that of contemporaries Kings Of Leon’s latest effort, but it’s needless to say that Interpol’s third opus isn’t their best effort going around the traps.

It’s clear that Paul Banks and Co. have added little bits and pieces to their very simple formula of song writing (see album opener ’Pioneer to The Falls’), but with all simple formulas, there comes a time where insipidness rears its ugly head and during parts of this album, it’s certainly evident.

After multiple listens, lead single ‘The Heinrich Manoeuvre’ is a classy number, while ‘No I In Threesome‘ and ‘Pace Is The Trick’ are two tracks that could rank amongst the best work the band has done. Sadly though, Interpol have produced good songs and an average good album that seems jaded and lacklustre after a while.


Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist

Okay, so it’s been a few months since this was released. Now that all of the Bill Corgan fan boys have calmed down and stopped proclaiming that this is an amazing album, let me bring something to people’s attention. Old band-broke up-reformed. You thinking what I’m thinking? You’re right. Money Making scheme! Make no mistake about it, folks.

All that aside and to the music. Corgan and his mate Jimmy Chamberlain seem to have gone through thick and thin together and the latter continues to walk in the shadow of his bandmate (just go to one of their live shows). Added is replacements for James Iha and Darcy Wretzky and end product is “Zeitgeist”.

There’s certainly a more polished feel to this album, but it’s a sound that lacks James Iha’s virtuoso and sadly that’s what lets this album down. It’s a progression from the Pumpkins’ previous works and although this is a moral victory to Corgan himself, nobody will really care in a couple of months.

While the lead single ‘Tarantula’ surprised many, it grows stale - like the rest of the album - after a while. The track with staying power is the rip-roaring beast that is ‘Bring The Light. No doubt, the finest track on this album and really the only ditty that weighs up to any of Corgan and Chamberlain’s back catalogue.

It’s not the worst album this year, but to make it was unnecessary. “Zeitgeist” was made for all the wrong reasons and while Corgan couldn’t let sleeping dogs lie, the result is this album and although he maybe satisfied with it at the moment, in 20 years he will come to regret the decision of returning to the studio as the Smashing Pumpkins in 2007.


Simon K

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